Hexagon Embraces Conversica AI Assistants for Marketing and Sales

Hexagon Embraces Conversica AI Assistants for Marketing and Sales

Hexagon Embraces
Here at Conversica, we love customer stories. We use our own technology and love it—but we especially adore it when our AI technologies help our customers boost productivity and drive revenue opportunities. This is one of those stories.

Hexagon Tests Out Their AI Assistant

Hexagon AB started using Conversica for one of their subsidiary companies in late 2020, which was obviously a difficult year for Marketers and Sellers—and everyone else—due to COVID. The company had previously invested in participating in a number of events and tradeshows. But when in-person gatherings were shuttered, the team had to figure out new ways of attracting customers.

“We have a very active Sales force because we’re in a lot of different industries. So, usually, we would be attending a lot of events,” says Kerry Trivers, VP of Marketing for Geosystems at Hexagon AB. “And so when they went away, we actually had the opportunity to shift a lot of our focus and investments more into the digital world.”

The team needed to shift focus away from in-person events to digital events, webinars, and paid social media campaigns. But these virtual events didn’t offer the same ability to engage contacts as in-person interactions. That presented a great challenge for Hexagon—and a great opportunity, if tackled properly.

The team decided to take a deeper look into their numbers and found that only 10% of the leads they brought in were passed to Sales.

“That became our benchmark,” says Trivers. “And so at that point, I started looking into, ‘What else could we be doing?’ And that’s when I started researching AI. And that’s where we found Conversica, because we really had a need to warm up leads that we were bringing into the organization that were net-new.”

The Hexagon team started by using a Conversica AI Assistant to autonomously engage leads—generated via content on their website or third-party media—in two-way conversations. Since these contacts were considered “early stage,” it wasn’t the most valuable audience for Salespeople to target. The Marketing team knew that it was simply too early to pass these leads along to Sales. But the team still suspected there was some value hidden within this swath of leads, so they sent their AI Assistant after them.

“Literally, as soon as we hit go we had people responding as hot leads within the hour,” says Trivers. “We had opportunity value that we didn’t even know was there, just by having an AI do some outreach on those existing leads.”

The team was delighted to bring in so many conversation-qualified leads. Quickly, Trivers’s team discovered value beyond just cultivating early interest from net new leads with digital event attendees. With their AI Assistant “Holly,” the team could deliver a personalized touch to large swaths of leads who had been dormant for 3 to 6 months to elevate handraisers.

This became a prime opportunity for Trivers’ team. Realizing that some golden nuggets of interest were hidden in there meant that the team could use Conversica AI Assistants to scalably and autonomously discover sales-ready leads.

Learnings Along the Way

Marketers are learning all the time. Testing out new strategies and improving over time is part of the job. First things first, the Hexagon team learned to tailor their messaging to make two-way conversations delivered by the AI Assistant more relevant to the specific parties they were contacting. This was especially useful when grouping people in their CRM into various campaigns. Luckily, this improved lead engagement with their AI Assistant.

By persistently reaching out to leads, Hexagon was able to free up their Sales staff while simultaneously engaging leads and identifying hot leads. The team discovered seven touches was the magic number to determine who was ready to talk to Sales.

Additionally, Trivers stresses that humanizing the AI internally helps build confidence in the technology.

“It is truly important, once you bring on an AI, that you start thinking of that AI as human. We’ve really humanized our AI. Our Sales teams always talk about working with Holly,” Trivers says. “It catches on like wildfire. Your Sales organization is going to be like, ‘Oh my God, we love Holly.’ Everybody wants to work with Holly.”

Lastly, Trivers’s team loves working with Conversica’s Customer Success team as they provide advice on how to best use the technology.

“I can’t say how much we appreciate working with our Customer Success team at Conversica,” Trivers says. “They’ve been instrumental to our success and keep us continuously improving in not only the conversations, but how we leverage even the new features that are coming out in the platform.”

The Results of Working With Holly, the AI Assistant
All in all, the results Hexagon saw from using an AI Assistant are astounding. The company has closed thousands of dollars of opportunity value, directly attributable to the Conversation Automation solution provided by Conversica.

Our engagement rate was 20% plus, even on old leads, which is way above our average,” Trivers says. “A lot of the people that we were engaging were actually becoming hot. And hot lead rates coming in were 10% plus.”

Trivers says the real power of the solution came through when integrating Conversica into their CRM.

“It makes it easier for anyone in the organization, and for Holly, or your AI, to actually work whatever leads you need,” Trivers says. “It’s just growing and growing and growing every single month. We are so excited about Conversica.”

Are you ready to start your own AI Assistant success story? Read about more of our amazing customers in our eBook: Conversational AI Heroes: Legendary Marketing & Sales Customer Stories.

How Motor City Lexus of Bakersfield Uses Conversica to Target Automotive Service Customers

How Motor City Lexus of Bakersfield Uses Conversica to Target Automotive Service Customers

Target Automotive Service Customers
Automotive service customers know they need to take care of their vehicles. But it’s all too easy for drivers to bump a service appointment to the bottom of their to-do lists. Day after day—week after week—that auto service appointment gets nudged further into the future. This spells bad news for the driver and their vehicle.

Dealerships often try to get ahead of routine maintenance by connecting with customers over the phone, email, or SMS. But even with multiple contact options, it can be tough to get busy people to respond. And chasing down a customer to make an appointment can be time-consuming for employees.

Luckily, Conversation Automation solutions from Conversica can persistently and politely pursue customers to make that important service appointment.

Lawrence Dyer, Business and Development team member at Motor City Lexus of Bakersfield Service, shares his experience using a Conversica AI Assistant to help connect with automotive service customers and drive revenue for the business.

Using Conversica AI Assistants for an Automotive Services Business

Motor City Lexus of Bakersfield Service adopted Conversica in 2019 to automate two-way conversations with customers. The goal was to motivate more customers to book service appointments—which generate revenue for the business.

Dyer joined the company after the Conversation Automation solution was already deployed. For him, it was a very new way of doing business. “When I got used to it, I really loved it,” Dyer says. “It takes away a lot of the tedious stuff I used to do before.”

So, rather than manually reaching out to contacts in hopes of getting them through the door, the AI Assistant (named “Mia”) autonomously pursues contacts with personalized messages proven to drive revenue opportunities. Better still, conversations delivered by the AI solution feel real and human-like.

“People are emailing in to get their appointments scheduled or their questions answered,” Dyer says. “When I answer, they ask to speak to Mia. And, of course, I’m Mia.”

Dyer starts each workday by checking the Conversica platform. “I do it every morning before I even start my other work,” Dyer says.

Dyer especially appreciates that he can seamlessly access Conversica from his smartphone. “If anyone responds [to the AI Assistant] in the evening, I can respond as Mia saying that someone will give them a call in the morning to schedule an appointment or answer their questions,” Dyer says.

Dyer says the AI Assistant helped keep customers connected even during the pandemic years as the business was short-staffed. But he’s really looking forward to the years ahead.

“Our business is growing,” Dyer says. “If it keeps growing at this rate, we’ll need two Mias—me and someone else—to handle the incoming requests.”

Take a deep dive into what Conversica AI Assistants can do for you with our Automotive Service Data Sheet: Tirelessly Keep Customers Tied to the Dealership Throughout the Ownership Cycle.

How Fundbox Uses AI and Humans to Deliver a Great Customer Experience

Fundbox is a fast-growing fintech startup based in San Francisco that is quickly changing the way small businesses secure funding. It’s about time, too, since the lending industry has remained unchanged for the most part since the 1950’s. How do they do it?

Check out this podcast featuring Vengreso CMO, Bernie Borges as he interviews Fundbox Head of Sales and Support, Basile Senesi, on how they challenge traditional underwriting standards to provide personalized customer experiences. By harnessing the power of AI – specifically through data science and automation – Fundbox is able to serve clients who may have previously been unqualified for funding and give them much needed access to credit.

Even if you’re not in the finance industry, this podcast is worth a listen — you’ll learn how AI is helping businesses across the board make the customer experience more human.

If you’d like to check out other Vengreso podcasts, be sure to check out Victor Belfor, Senior Vice President of Channel Sales and Business Development at Conversica, talk about how to be a modern marketer in the age of data and analytics.

 

Industry-changing Admissions AI Assistant launched for higher education

Conversica just added a new type of AI Assistant to the company’s portfolio of Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs) powered by intelligent automation—an Admissions AI Assistant for higher education. The new Admissions AI Assistant aims to help busy admissions teams engage prospective students in a personal, yet automated way. Today’s prospective students are busier than ever and need gently persistent yet highly personalized outreach.

The Conversica Admissions AI Assistant is designed to engage these prospects quickly, and in a scalable way. Admissions departments at educational institutions have limited resources to deliver the kind of high-quality, personalized experience needed to attract new students.

Further complicating the recruitment challenge is that students are difficult to reach, and most are contacting multiple institutions. Our industry-leading Intelligent Virtual Assistants help thousands of companies across a dozen industries to more effectively engage their leads, and we are excited to deepen our commitment to the education industry.

Admissions AI Assistant pleases early adopters

Early Admissions AI Assistant adopters are already reporting impressive results, including one education company that “hired” an Admissions AI Assistant to re-engage applicants who had become unresponsive. The Admissions AI Assistant began autonomous outreach to leads that had engaged on behalf of more than 15 universities but had been unresponsive for six months or longer. These efforts resulted in a 26 percent increase in engagement rate and a 35 percent increase in conversion rate.

Research shows the education industry needs AI

Conversica’s most recent research on inquiry follow-up in higher revealed that 27 percent of schools contacted did not respond at all — not a single email or phone call — to the prospective student (as documented in the Sales Effectiveness Report in Education).

Additionally:

  • 37 percent of educational institutions made only one or two attempts to contact a lead
  • Admissions departments had an average first response time of 38 hours, compared to the 24-hour average response time of other industries
  • 8 percent of schools took longer than one week to respond to prospective students

To address these follow-up challenges, our Admissions AI Assistants can automate the lead follow-up process and engage every prospective student in a two-way, human-like conversation. With a response rate often three to five times higher than marketing or sales emails, our assistants have been shown to significantly increase the number of quality conversations with prospective students, while reducing the time the admissions department has to spend following up with these leads.

Engaging prospective students and boosting enrollment

By using the new Conversica Admissions AI Assistant, admissions departments now can:

  • Follow up with high-quality interested students and accelerate the best to a human enrollment counselor. Making a personal connection to advance each lead is expensive, but with Conversica, institutions can more easily master “digital efficiency.”
  • Re-engage potential students and inactive applicants. Students – especially non-traditional students – drop out of the funnel for all kinds of reasons. Institutions using Conversica engage them personally and at scale, automating the outreach that admissions staff don’t have time for.
  • Be more effective at cross-selling. With thousands of programs available, students may not know their best fit. The Conversica solution uses the right cues to intelligently suggest other opportunities.
  • Drive attendance to recruiting events. Potential students are hard to reach and busy with other priorities. Conversica Admissions AI Assistants use polite but persistent outreach to enroll students for events and remind them to attend.

 

 

Early adopters already seeing results

Another organization seeing impressive results is The The Los Angeles Film School:

“We were looking for a way to have more persistent —and consistent — conversations with prospective students,” said James Winstead, Vice President of Marketing at The Los Angeles Film School. “Stephanie, our AI Assistant, does her magic and finds even more who want to engage, which are fully attributed to Conversica. We’re also using the AI in our retention efforts, allowing for constant communication with our students even after graduation, which helps promote ongoing brand advocacy.”

Available now, the Admissions AI Assistant communicates over multiple communication channels, interacts in multiple languages, and integrates with the leading CRM and marketing automation systems, including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, and Eloqua.

Read our Case Study about The Los Angeles Film School’s use of the Conversica AI Assistant.

Additional information

  • Learn more about the Conversica Admissions AI Assistant here
  • Watch a two-minute video overview of Conversica
  • Download a two-page brochure on the Admissions AI Assistant

Conversica CTA Live Demo

 

Customers Q&A: What are you looking forward to at Dreamforce 2018?

Monday night we held our annual Conversica customer dinner on the eve of Dreamforce 2018. As many people travel from out of town to the Dreamforce conference, we asked our current Conversica AI Assistant customers what they are looking forward to most at Dreamforce 2018. We were happy to hear such excitement about both the Dreamforce 2018 conference and their passion for our AI technology.

Lars Christensen, VP Marketing Demand Generation, Snowflake Computing:

“Typically, when I go to Dreamforce, it’s about just exploring whether I have any blind spots when it comes to technologies I can deploy. And it’s a great spot to meet peers and old colleagues that I haven’t talked to for long time, so I’m there for the networking purposes also.”

How did Snowflake end up using Conversica? “We came to Conversica with one specific use case and it was to follow up and comb through some of our low value leads and see if the AI Assistant could identify some business there, and we’ve had some good experiences, so we’re looking to expand those use cases.”

Justin Donlon, Manager of Business Applications for Sales & Marketing, Carbonite:

“At Dreamforce this year, I’m looking for anything that’s going to help define and refine the customer journey, specifically around cross-sell and up-sell. Carbonite has acquired a few companies recently  and we want to make sure that we that we are able to effectively cross sell and up sell across our different customer bases.”

What does Carbonite use Conversica for? “So far we have been using Conversica a lot very successfully  for warming up leads and prospects, as well as for leads and prospects that have gone cold after a while, and we are considering expanding it to cross-sell and up-sell scenarios as well.

William Wagner, Head of Marketing at Cloud Lending Solutions:

“At Dreamforce, I’m most looking forward to just learning about new marketing automation tools, ABM and just general learning from other experts. This is my 10th Dreamforce and it gets bigger and bigger every single year. Last year, I went by the Conversica booth when I was in the middle of an evaluation process, so I went up and saw a demo and then shortly thereafter I actually ended up purchasing.” 

How has Cloud Lending Solutions been enjoying Conversica? “It’s been phenomenal. I’m extremely excited. It’s one of the few things that I’ve put in that’s actually worked far beyond my expectations,” says Wagner.

Michael Schnell, Marketing Operations, Prezi:

“I’m looking forward to seeing all of the companies show what they’ve got. I’m always looking at new technology and new experiences. Having those conversations with all these companies and people, and being able to do that all-in-one place, is always a blast. This will be my fourth Dreamforce.”

How did Prezi end up using Conversica? “The first time we ever heard of Conversica, my colleague had a demo at the booth and dragged me along. She got a pair of Beats headphones there, and from that booth conversation, we had a longer demo with our sales rep from Conversica, and about 3 months later, we are customers. It’s been a lot of fun, there’s a cool buzz around the company of having a robot kind of working for us and it’s been giving us a pretty positive ROI too, which is always great,” says Schnell.

Shayna Harrison, Digital Marketing & Automation Analyst at Sutter Physician Services:

“I’m really looking forward to learning and collaboration this trip. This is my third Dreamforce.” What does she hope to learn about Conversica at Dreamforce? “We just started this past year with Conversica, so we’re looking to learn more about how we can use the tool and collaborate with other people who are using it as well.”

Kristen Bryant, Senior Director of Demand Generation, Optima Healthcare Solutions:

“At Dreamforce, we’re really looking forward to seeing how others are using technology in different ways, what advanced programs they’re using for their marketing, and what 2019 is going to bring for us.”

Optima gives Conversica high praise. “As for Conversica, we love the tool. We’ve been using it for about eight months and it’s really doing great things for us. Conversica is really helping us with our conversion rates and ROI, and taking a burden off of our SDR team,” she adds.

Lisa Martinez, Sale Operations Manager for Reduxio:

“Dreamforce for me this year is going to focus on improvement for my team. I’m looking forward to learning about new tools that can make my team more productive.”

Nancy Nardin, Co-founder of Vendor Neutral and Smart Selling Tools:

“I’m looking forward to lots of great conversations, really learning what’s happening, learning what the direction of the industry is, and finding out all of the great things that Conversica and others are doing.”

Any guesses about what Conversica will be doing at Dreamforce 2018? “I know you always have some fun booths. You’ve had the gold mining booth and the cherry picking booth. So, I don’t know…it’s hard to tell with you! You always come up with something fun and new every year,” says Nardin.

Kate Zhukova, Business Analyst with Coastal Cloud:

“This is my first Dreamforce.” What does Coastal Cloud use Conversica for? “We use Conversica primarily for campaigns. We have a lot of campaigns for events, so we do a lot of reaching out after events for lead follow-up. We use Conversica for engaging those leads. She’s been great for that – a huge time saver.”

Visit us: Conversica & AI Lead Patrol at Customer Success Expo

If you’re attending Dreamforce 2018, stop by Conversica’s Customer Success Expo booth 1924 and take the opportunity to meet our AI Lead Patrol and see our Conversica AI Sales Assistants in action! You might just win some Beats, too.

Customer success: Sesame Communications experiences 10:1 ROI + $30K-40K more per month

One of our customers, Sesame Communications supports thousands of customers in its effort to grow and increase its profitability in the digital age. About a year ago, Sesame’s Director of Marketing Todd Martini and his team were facing the challenge of being overloaded by inbound leads and non-engaged leads that no one had time to follow up on. After trying lead scoring and drip campaigns, Todd and his team realized that they were not reaching decision makers. So they sought out a new way to handle their leads.

Drip campaigns replaced by AI

With a goal of increasing their outreach volume and improving their follow up on untouched leads, Sesame implemented Conversica’s AI Sales Assistant and added the persona Olivia Cooper to its team. The integration was implemented directly with Conversica and it’s been quite successful to date – to the tune of a 10:1 return on investment. The automated sales assistant now contributes an additional 6-7 closed deals worth $30-40k each month, a whopping 10% boost in marketing-sourced revenue for the company.

Where Sesame finds Conversica’s AI Assistant shines most is when dealing with large lists, and the leads she uncovers tend to be higher quality leads. When running a campaign, Sesame could have as many as 1,500 people that open an email who need to be followed up with. But that’s not something that the MDR team can call down in a short period of time. Luckily Martini has found that its Conversica AI assistant “Olivia” can engage this large list of prospects in a way that is personable and polite, tailoring each message to that individual, and efficiently managing the schedule upon which she sends out her communications, which is a much simpler process for the company.

 

AI + marketing automation

With a lean sales and marketing staff, sales and marketing automation is important to Sesame. The company now deploys the Conversica AI Assistant alongside traditional sales and marketing automation tools Marketo and Salesforce, and the team has found that there is little work to do other than just setting up the campaigns. “We’ve been doing marketing automation for 8 years with Marketo,” said Martini. “And anything we can use to reach out to more people without needing a lot of resources, we will grab onto.”  Typically the marketing has relied on drip campaigns. However, Sesame replaced its drip campaigns with Conversica’s Automated Sales Assistant, which is now its new marketing and sales automation tool of choice.

 

Conversica assists Sesame Communications

• 10% increase in marketing-sourced
revenues
• $30K-$40K lift in monthly revenue
• 6-7 new won deals per month
• 10:1 ROI

Read the Sesame Case Study and other case studies about customers of the Conversica AI Sales Assistant.

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